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Planets of Star Wars: The Old Republic - Coruscant
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February 1, 2016
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Soeren Kamper

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The Galactic Center of Coruscant (pronounced /'kʊɹəsɑnt/), originally called Notron, also known as Imperial Center or the Queen of the Core, was the political hub of the galaxy for millennia. It was generally agreed that Coruscant was, during most of Galactic history, the most politically important world in the galaxy. At various times, it was the capital of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, the New Republic, briefly the Empire Reborn, the New Republic again, the Yuuzhan Vong Empire occupation, the Galactic Alliance, the Fel Empire and Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire. These governments, that all controlled Coruscant, controlled the galaxy in the process.

A large number of the galaxy's trade routes—including the Perlemian Trade Route, the Corellian Run, the Metellos Trade Route, the Koros Trunk Line, and the Leisure Corridor—went through Coruscant, making it one of the richest worlds in the galaxy. Tellingly, the planet's hyperspace coordinates were (0,0,0), and the military designation was Triple Zero. Accordingly, it was the main planet of the all-important 'Sector Zero', a military designation for the Coruscant and surrounding systems.

The actual planet-wide metropolis of Coruscant was divided into smaller 'cities', (though each was the size of the average country by most standards). Among these was the administrative center, known as Galactic City, Republic City, Coruscant City or the City of Spires under the Galactic Republic, Imperial City during the rule of the Galactic Empire, and New Republic City under the New Republic, and later Yuuzhan'tar when the planet was under Yuuzhan Vong control.

Description

Surface
Geologically, the planet was composed of a molten core with a rocky mantle and a silicate rock crust. At its poles were huge ice caps that were popular spots for tourists.

The entire surface of Coruscant was covered by sprawling kilometers-high skyscrapers and cities, and boasted a population of over a hundred billion to several trillion, depending on the era. Following the end of the Clone Wars, an official census noted 1 trillion official permanent residents. The statistics did not include transients, temporary workers, unregistered populace nor residents of orbital facilities. Because of these omissions, the "real" population of Coruscant was estimated to be three times the official amount.

Image EnlargerNight view of the Senate District from 500 Republica, c. 19 BBY.

Coruscanti skyscrapers dwarfed all the original natural features, including mountains, as well as floors of oceans which once covered a large proportion of Coruscant's surface. Areas of Galactic City were broken up into levels, megablocks, blocks, and subblocks. Coruscant itself was divided into quadrants, which were divided into zones. Below the skyscrapers was Coruscant's undercity, where sunlight never reached. Artificial lighting illuminated these lower levels and advertisement holograms could be seen everywhere. There were numerous establishments for entertainment, catering to a myriad of alien species. The residents were collectively referred to as Twilighters.

Water
Coruscant was once a world mostly covered in oceans. However, all natural bodies of water were drained and stored in vast caverns beneath the city as a result of years of overpopulation. The only body of water visible was the artificial Western Sea, with many artificially-created islands floating on it, used by tourists on holidays.

With no other bodies of water available to feed and water its trillion inhabitants, Coruscant's architects, along with many others from around the galaxy, worked together to build a self-contained eco-system in the massive buildings set all over the planet. Polar cap stations also melted ice and distributed water throughout the planetwide city through a complex series of pipes.

Image EnlargerPipes bring water from Coruscant's polar regions.

Manarai Mountains
One of the few pieces of Coruscant's landmass that were left untouched were the Manarai Mountains, twin peaks that stuck up out of the ground near the famous Imperial Palace. The Manarai Mountains included the tallest peak, Umate; many floating restaurants; Monument Plaza; and were home to the Flames of Umate cult. It was beneath the Manarai Mountains that the Lusankya was hidden. The mountains were destroyed during the Yuuzhan Vong assault on Coruscant.

Neighborhoods
Galactic City was divided into quadrants, "several thousand" in number, with each quadrant further split into sectors. Each sector was numbered on official maps, but sectors often had nicknames, such as Sah'c Town (sector H-46, named for a prominent family that owned a large portion of its land) and The Works, the largest of Coruscant's designated industrial zones. (Coruscant practiced zoning, which is the designation of specific areas of land for particular purposes, such as governmental and senatorial, financial (including banking zones), residential, commercial, industrial, and manufacturing. Manufacturing and industrial zones were typically the largest designated areas of the planet.) The Works was once one of the galaxy's major manufacturing areas, where spacecraft parts, droids, and building materials were heavily produced during centuries, but as construction and industry became more efficient and cheaper away from Coruscant, The Works fell into disrepair. It gained a reputation as a hub of criminal activity and many locals stayed away from it. A similar, but more dangerous area, was the Factory District, which was once the industrial heart of Coruscant until it too lost out to competition from producers in other Core Worlds. By the time of the Great Jedi Purge it lay in ruins and was almost completely deserted of sentients, because of the feral droids that prowled its streets. It was located on the opposite side of the planet, and was much more dangerous than the Southern Underground, Invisible Sector, which were infamous in their own right. Another area of Coruscant was CoCo Town (short for "collective commerce"). Many diverse species lived there and worked in manufacturing. A partially enclosed open-air plaza near the Senate building, the Column Commons, was so-called because it housed most of the HoloNet and news media corporations.

Image EnlargerThe multi-layered surface of Coruscant.

Livability
Coruscant also orbited relatively far from its small star Coruscant Prime, ranging from 207 million to 251 million km. Thus, Coruscant did not naturally have a climate suitable for Humans. Coruscant's Humans countered this by erecting a series of orbital mirrors that reflected the sun's warmth and light. Several of these mirrors would be destroyed in the Battle of Coruscant during the Clone Wars, although it is unknown whether this had any lasting effect. It is known that thunderstorms and rain occurred during 19 BBY and 3 ABY, possibly as an effect of the altered sunlight from the remaining mirrors.

The planet produced trillions of tons of waste an hour. Though almost everything on the planet, from clothes to packaging and machinery, was recyclable, some waste was too dangerous to recycle such as worn-out hyperdrive cores were delivered to one of five-thousand garbage pits on Coruscant, there they were put into canisters and chemically shot into a tight orbit around Coruscant where garbage ships would collect them and transport them to nearby moons for storage. Some of the most dangerous materials were shot into the nearby sun and completely incinerated. Garbage not exported or destroyed was mixed into a slurry of silicone oils and processed by garbage worms who chewed it into pellets removing any remaining organics, plastic, or recoverable metals. They turned millions of tons of pellets into carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases. Another problem for a world like Coruscant was the unimaginable amount of carbon dioxide and heat energy that its trillion-being population generated each day, so thousands of carbon dioxide-reactive atmospheric dampeners were put into place in the upper atmosphere to prevent atmospheric degeneration. The first set of these planet-wide dampeners, developed by the Galactic Republic, was known as the Coruscant Atmospheric Reclamation Project.

Near the planet's core were a number of massive power relay stations. The lowest levels were abandoned to mutants and scavengers, such as the cannibalistic, mythical Cthons. The foundations of many of the buildings, some of which weighed billions of tons, also extended deep into the planet's crust.

Galactic Standard Time was developed on Coruscant and revolved around the hours in a single Coruscant day, 24, with 368 local days a year.

Public Safety
The Public Safety Department was in charge of preventing situations that might endanger the public's safety. Fire fighting, rescue and cleanup was performed by the Coruscant Rescue Ops which dealt mainly with the tens of thousands of ships that were in the capital. Each planetary district maintained their own teams. Law enforcement was provided mostly by the Coruscant Police Force. They were assisted, at various times, by the Jedi Order, Judicial Forces, the Republic Security Force, clone troopers of the GAR, the Coruscant Guard, the Stormtrooper Corps, the Coruscant Planetary Defense Force, the New Jedi Order, the Galactic Alliance Guard, and Galactic Alliance Security. Police droids were also used. The CoCo District maintained its own constabulary force.

Image EnlargerPanoramic view of the planetary cityscape of Coruscant from the High Council Chamber

Defenses
As of the Battle of Coruscant during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Coruscant had a four tier defense system. The first and "uppermost" tier was a series of mines. These were deactivated during the Battle of Coruscant at the behest of Lando Calrissian because he believed that they would do more harm than good, only to be reactivated by Calrissian later when the attacking Vong fleet was in the midst of it, thus trapping many more foes.

The second tier was a series of Golan Defense Platforms, mostly Golan II types. The command platform was dubbed "Orbital Defense One" and was larger than its cousins. Most of these were destroyed when the Vong broke through New Republic lines, including Orbital Defense One.

The third tier was a massive planetary shield, controlled by a series of relays on the surface of Coruscant. The shield seems to have worked by some kind of dispersion of energy released onto the shield. The Vong employed a tactic which involved waves of kamikaze ships crashing into the shield, overloading the relays, and effectively bringing it down.

The fourth and last tier was an array of rooftop turbolasers, akin to the point-defense systems on some capital ships. Some were operated automatically, others by Human gunners and astromech droids. Also counted was the proton bomb in the Chief of State's office, which was detonated when Vong soldiers occupied the Imperial Palace. The explosion destroyed the building housing the office, and the data towers on Coruscant.

It is unknown as to whether the Galactic Alliance incorporated these same defenses during the rebuilding of Coruscant.

Image EnlargerThe Works landscape.

History

Pre-Republic
The very early history of Coruscant is a bit sketchy and is not well known. Coruscant was considered by many to be the Human homeworld. Millennia ago, the Celestials could have removed Humans from Coruscant with which to populate Corellia.

Around 200,000 BBY, the near-Human Taungs attempted to conquer the 13 baseline Human nations of the Battalions of Zhell. A volcano decimated the Zhell, the ash filling the skies for two years, so the Taungs adopted the name Dha Werda Verda (Warriors of Shadow) for themselves. The Human Zhell eventually recovered and drove the Taungs offworld.

One hundred millennia later, Coruscant was surveyed by the Columi, who dismissed the planet as a primitive disappointment, despite the already planet-spanning ecumenopolis of Galactic City. New buildings were built on the old. As a result, there was virtually no exposed land. In the forgotten underlevels of the city, there was darkness, pollution and crime. Higher up, there were government offices and penthouses owned by the elite. The lower fifty levels of the ecumenopolis is said to have last seen sunlight around 95,000 BBY.

Coruscant was one of many worlds conquered by the Infinite Empire of the Rakata, who used Human slaves to build the Star Forge in 30,000 BBY. Under Rakatan domination, the Humans of Coruscant's colonization attempts were limited to sleeper ships, which ended up on Alderaan, in the Tion Cluster, Seoul 5, Kuat, Alsakan, Axum, Anaxes, Atrisia, Metellos, Corulag, and many other worlds. The Rakata were eventually decimated by a massive plague, leading to slave revolutions on Coruscant and other subjugated worlds.

Over the next two centuries, Coruscant was linked to other Core Worlds, including Corellia, Alderaan, New Plympto and Duro, by hyperspace cannons, via the Herglic Trade Empire. It was during this time that the Coruscant government peacefully absorbed the nearby Azure Imperium. During these pre-Republic years, the languages of Coruscant and its neighbors meshed to become Old Galactic Standard.

Image EnlargerCoruscant at the time of the Great Galactic War

Early Republic
In 25,053 BBY, the Corellians and Duros invented the hyperdrive proper, allowing Coruscant to become the capital of a democratic union: the Galactic Republic. 53 years later the planet became the galactic centre, and remained the Republic's capital for twenty five thousand years. Shortly after the formation of the Republic, the Perlemian Trade Route was mapped, linking Coruscant to Ossus and bringing the Jedi Knights into the Republic. Over the next millennium, the Corellian Run was mapped, linking Coruscant to Corellia and beyond. Blasters were also invented on Coruscant around this time, and the famous Galactic Museum was constructed in 12,000 BBY.

From the very beginning, Coruscant, as the Republic's capital, was the primary objective in several wars. The earliest among these was the Tionese War with the Honorable Union of Desevro and Tion in 24,000 BBY, in which Coruscant was bombarded with Tionese pressure bombs. Other early battles included the Alsakan Conflicts, the Duinuogwuin Contention, the Great Hyperspace War, the Third Great Schism, the Great Droid Revolution, and the Great Sith War.

Following the devastation of Ossus, the Jedi Council took up residence in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, to which many Jedi relics from Ossus were taken. The Temple was greatly expanded, including the building of the original Jedi Council Chamber. The Temple was repeatedly expanded including in 3,519 BBY, 2,519 BBY (when the Jedi Archives were built), 2,019 BBY, and 1,000 BBY (when the Temple spires were finally fully rebuilt).

At some point, the Senate Rotunda was founded, replacing the previous assembly place. The exterior of this massive structure would survive the planet's transformation into the new Yuuzhan'tar.

Image EnlargerThe Sacking of Coruscant in 3,653 BBY.
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